Back on September 4th, an alarming incident took place at the international terminal of the Denver International Airport, though it didn’t make much of a splash in the national media at the time. Celin Villeda-Orellana, a 33-year-old illegal alien from Honduras, was preparing to board an airplane and leave the country. Before he could make good on his plans, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents apprehended him. If that were the end of the story we could write this off as a job well done by ICE and move along, but there is a lot more to Villeda-Orellana’s story than first meets the eye.
This was far from the first time the illegal alien had run up against the law. He first jumped the border from Mexico in 2007, going on to later be arrested in Chicago and deported back to Honduras. He did it again in 2018 (that’s the next incident we know of, anyway), being once again arrested in Arizona. He was sent to Texas for deportation, but while waiting to be shipped out, he was released. (More on that in a moment.) What makes the arrest at the Denver airport more alarming is the fact that Villeda-Orellana wasn’t simply wanted on illegal immigration charges. He was wanted for the sexual assault of a child. Even worse, he had been in the custody of the Denver Police prior to this event, but they refused an ICE detainer and released him yet again. (CBS Denver)
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel arrested a Honduran man at Denver International Airport on Sept. 4, months after the man had been arrested on sexual assault on a child charges by Denver law enforcement. He was subsequently released from jail against the wishes of the federal agents.
Celin Villeda-Orellana, 33, was in the country illegally, according to an ICE spokesperson. And not for the first time.
When asked if the suspect was attempting to board a plane or leave the country from DIA, an ICE spokesperson refused to elaborate on the circumstances of his arrest.
This is where the story shifts back to Villeda-Orellana’s 2018 arrest. The reason he was released while awaiting deportation was that it had been determined that was part of “a family unit” because he had illegally crossed the border with a child. ICE has since determined that he was not related to the child. Whether or not this is the same child he’s accused of sexually assaulting in Denver is unknown, but it certainly sounds as if he was trafficking the child when he returned to the United States.
The Denver PD had charged the illegal alien with six felony counts relating to sexual assault on a child. But he somehow managed to post a $5,000 bond to be released, despite ICE asking the police to hold him. And what was the Denver Sheriff’s Department’s excuse for rejecting the detainer request and springing him from jail? Here’s their official statement.
“The Denver Sheriff Department (DSD) legally cannot honor civil ‘detainer’ requests from ICE unless they are accompanied by a criminal warrant issued by a judge. Denver does promptly respond to requests from ICE for notification when individuals are released. Pursuant to the Public Safety Enforcement Priorities Act, when the Denver Sheriff Department receives a request for notification from ICE, DSD faxes ICE notification of release when the individual enters into the release process. It is the responsibility of ICE to arrive at DSD prior to release and take the individual into custody.
The additional details turn this into even more of a mess. The Sheriff’s Department faxed a notification of Villeda-Orellana’s pending release to ICE on Feb. 21, 2020, at 8:28 p.m. They scrambled to get a warrant, but that’s not always easy that late in the evening. The suspect was released that same night at 10:48 p.m. That means that ICE was given a grand total of two hours and twenty minutes to try to find a judge to give them a warrant before the man facing six counts relating to the sexual assault of a child was released. According to ICE, he then went on to “re-offend,” though details of that incident were not provided.
Denver is another one of those sanctuary cities that have passed laws making it as difficult as possible for ICE to coordinate with local law enforcement. In this case, they managed to put an accused child molester back out on the streets rather than waiting for ICE to find a judge and get a warrant. The police and the Sheriff’s Department were following the rules put in place by the city. And that’s where the real blame for all of this should be placed.